Dwayne Edwards is not usually rendered speechless.
However, when he was named the Pilot Point Chamber of Commerce’s person of the year, he seemed to struggle to find the words to explain how he felt.
“I wasn’t ready for it,” he said, getting a little choked up. “You just go do your thing. You go love people, and that’s my whole deal. Debbie can tell you; I just love people, I don’t care where they are, who they are, where they come from. That’s the way Jesus loves us.”
Edwards came to Pilot Point after he and his wife Debbie lived in California for 22 years to lead the Gracepoint Nazarene Church.
“God led us back here to the Church of the Nazarene’s birth,” he said.
When Edwards was handed his award, those attending the festival got on their feet for a standing ovation.
Edwards talked about the importance of volunteering during his acceptance speech.
“We love the community here; we love everything,” he said. “It’s our hearts and our joy to be a part of your lives, your families, and to be the best we can be in our community here, to really make an impact. It’s everything to get involved.”
Edwards was one of many people who live, work or do both in Pilot Point at the chamber’s Winter Festival.
Three city employees were recognized for the work they did throughout 2019: Lisa Rose with Public Works, Officer Chase Raines with the police department and firefighter Adam Zimmerer for the fire department.
The awards were presented by Linda Bullwinkle, the president of the Lake Ray Roberts Rotary Club, because the club sponsored those awards.
Rose said she was honored to receive the recognition because of the men she works with.
“I work with a great bunch of guys, a great bunch of guys,” Rose said. “And I couldn’t have done any of it without them. They’re my family out there.”
In the letter describing her nomination, Capital Projects Manager Matt Kaminski said Rose goes “above and beyond her job.”
“Her team respects her highly and appreciates how she tries so hard to take care of everyone else,” Bullwinkle said.
In the nomination, Kaminski also lauded Rose’s impact on the work atmosphere of the department.
“Lisa is a major contributor to the positive outlook of the Public Works department, and does her best to make it a family atmosphere,” Bullwinkle read.
Pilot Point Police Chief Tim Conner nominated Raines for the work he has done as a student resource officer working with Pilot Point ISD.
“This officer put in long hours providing for the safety and security of Pilot Point children while assigned to our schools,” Bullwinkle read. “He is a 13-year veteran of law enforcement, a tenured school resource officer, a husband, a father, a mentor and a guardian to untold numbers of children in our community.”
She took her comments from Conner’s nomination, in which he mentioned the “valuable and meaningful relationships” he has developed with Pilot Point students and their families through his work in the intermediate and high schools this year, and all of the Pilot Point campuses in the school years leading up to this one.
“This is evidenced each summer as students on their vacation from school take time to drop by the station to say hi and they visit him or can be found hanging around his police car while on patrol in the neighborhoods,” Bullwinkle read. “There’s no doubt this officer is making a positive and lasting impact.”
Raines said he has worked with the district since October of 2013—”I’m definitely a Bearcat,” he said—and being an SRO keeps him in the law enforcement world.
“It’s the reason why I do what I do,” he said about helping to influence the view the students have of police officers through being involved in their lives.
During the description Bullwinkle read, she talked about how much of an impact Zimmerer has made on the department in helping keep the equipment maintained, “which we are very grateful for because we would like those vehicles to work when it’s time,” she said.
He started his firefighting career as a volunteer in 2005, became a professional firefighter in 2008 and joined the Pilot Point department in 2018.
“I like the small community,” Zimmerer said. “We have a great department. We’ve had a lot of forward motion involved with the city with the building of our new station.
We’re working on growing and trying to do the best that we can.” During her description, Bullwinkle also referred to an August incident in which Zimmerer helped identify the symptoms of a life-threatening blood clot during a call.
“He was able to quickly assess the situation and transport the patient to the hospital, where they did indeed have a clot, which caused them to have a major stroke in the hospital,” Bullwinkle said.
Because Zimmerer recognized the clot symptoms, she added, the patient received “life-saving medications” before being transferred to Fort Worth and is expected to recover.
Pilot Point ISD also provided someone for recognition as PPISD volunteer: Mandy Kirby, who serves as the PTO president for both the elementary and intermediate schools in the district and is the mother of five children.
“I was blown away, because, I mean, I don’t do it for this,” Kirby said. “I do it for the kids and this community. I love this community, and I hope to call it home for a long time.”
Nancy Carver was named the Ray Roberts State Park Volunteer of the Year, and the 19th Century Club earned the award for the nonprofit of the year. Judd Kearby was named the Volunteer of the Year, Anchor Graphics won the Business of the Year and LizzyGator Custom Creations was the New Business of the Year.